Oakland 3, St. Louis 2 (WPA Graph from Fangraphs)
A's Current Record: 34-37
As I noted earlier today, the A's seemingly play only two types of games: low scoring games where they win, and low scoring games when they lose. After filling the road trip with games of the latter type, they close the trip the way the opened it, with a game from the column A. As in the first game of the week, the key to the game was Trevor Cahill.
Although Cahill got a no-decision, he looked very good, allowing just two solo homers to Matt Holliday -- and two other hits -- over six innings while striking out seven and walking none. He threw just 91 pitches and probably could have gone out for the seventh had he not been removed from the game for a pinch hitter in the top of the inning. (Pretty much the only thing I like about having the DH is that I like to see pitchers go deep into games without regard for their (in)ability to hit. I have no idea about Cahill's bunting skills, so its hard to know if bringing in Eric Patterson to hit for him was the right move...though judging from Cahill's sac bunt in the third -- and with the benefit of hindsight -- leaving Cahill in might have been the right move.)
The A's offense was...you guessed it: just good enough. I expected the A's to do more (perhaps foolishly) against Jeff Suppan as they only managed two runs off of him. They did chase him from the game in the fifth and managed seven hits off of him, but a caught stealing, a pickoff, and a lack of timely hitting allowed Suppan to escape with just the two runs allowed.
As much as we've picked on Bob Geren over the past few days...and the more I think about it, the less I like his removal of Cahill...he is willing to bring in Andrew Bailey in the eighth inning (though not as willing as we'd like). Bailey came into the game in as tough of a situation as can be, with runners on the corners with Albert Pujols at the plate. Bailey got Pujols to fly out to left and then pitched a perfect 9th to seal the deal.
I'm glad the A's ended the roadtrip on a good note, but I still feel that this trip marked the end of contention for them. Being three games under .500 is about where I expected them to be at this point, but the Rangers' eight game lead is quite a hole right now. Unless the A's have a very strong week against the Reds and Pirates, we may very well start to see rumors about the A's trading away some of their pieces.